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General Foot Disorders

Nearly 80 percent of people ages 21 and older have had at least one problem with their feet. Some of the most common foot problems include bunions, plantar fasciitis, Lisfranc injuries, and sesamoiditis.

At UC San Diego Health, our care team provides the latest diagnostic tests and nonsurgical and surgical therapies to treat minor and complex injuries of the foot and ankle.

Foot and Ankle Care at UC San Diego Health

Diagnosis and Treatment

Our team will conduct a physical examination and X-ray the injured area. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test or bone scan may also be performed.

Treatment options depend on the type of foot disorder you have and symptom severity. Some conditions may be treatable with nonsurgical methods and simple lifestyle changes, including steroid medication injections, soft-soled shoes or orthotics, pain relievers (ibuprofen), and avoidance of activities that cause pain.

Our team is skilled in surgical treatment of general foot disorders that cannot be helped with a nonsurgical approach. The goal of surgery is to restore function, promote healing, and reduce the risk of problems such as loss of motion and pain.

Types of General Foot Disorders

Our team treats a wide range of general foot disorders including:

  • Sesamoiditis
  • Lisfranc injuries
  • Foot acute and stress fractures
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Plantar fascia ruptures
  • Metatarsophalangeal joint sprain or turf toe
  • Bunions
  • Great toe arthritis and midfoot arthritis

Learn more about general foot disorders below.


The sesamoids are bones located at the bottom of the foot, just under the large toe. They are not connected to any other bone; instead, they are connected only to tendons or rooted in muscle. The tendons that surround sesamoids can become inflamed and irritated.

Lisfranc Injury

A Lisfranc injury occurs when ligaments that support the midfoot tear or bones in the midfoot break. The midfoot is the area above the arch in the middle of the foot. Lisfranc injuries can be simple or complex, involving several bones and joints. Often misdiagnosed as a sprain, Lisfranc injuries can take several months to heal and may require surgery.

Foot Stress Fracture

Foot stress fractures can occur in various bones of the body when an abrupt increase in activity leads to excessive stress on the bone and impairs the bone repair process. Stress fractures are typically associated with recent increase in activity or intense sport/exercise. Stress fractures can also occur when activity increases or resumes after a period of activity. The key to treating a stress fracture is rest and avoiding impact activities. It can take up to eight weeks for a stress fracture to heal.

Metatarsophalangeal Joint Sprain

Also known as a turf toe injury, metatarsophalangeal joint sprain is a sprain to the main joint of the big toe. This occurs when the toe is forced into hyperextension. This type of sprain is often seen in athletes who play on artificial turf.

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